Following Russia’s decision to block access to two of Meta Platforms Inc.’s most important social media platforms—Facebook and Instagram—there was an uptick in the demand for solutions that may avoid the restrictions.
As a direct response to the decision made by Meta the previous week to allow social media users in Ukraine to post messages such as “Death to the Russian Invasion,” Instagram access has been stopped in Russia as of Monday. Moscow asserted that there were restrictions placed on access to Russian media on Facebook, which led to the social media platform’s blocking.
According to statistics provided by the monitoring company Top10VPN, the demand for Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that encrypt data and mask a user’s location skyrocketed on the eve of the Instagram ban to a level that was 2,088 percent greater than the daily average demand in the middle of February.
As a direct response to the unprecedented sanctions imposed by the West as a result of Russia’s activities in Ukraine, Russia is waging a war to maintain control over the flow of information and is suffocating Western social media corporations by throttling their traffic and, in the case of Facebook and Instagram, outright banning them.
Already, there has been an increase in demand for virtual private networks (VPNs) around the region as a direct result of recent cyber attacks on websites hosted in Russia and Ukraine.
As part of a larger plan that critics claim restricts internet freedom, Russia implemented a restriction on a number of virtual private networks (VPNs) but did not entirely block them last year.